By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Americans in major cities across the U.S., including the nation's capital, celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday
Marches and festivals were held in honor of the civil rights giant on the national holiday that bears his name.
In Washington, D.C., the MLK Jr. Peace Walk and Parade winded through the city's streets and was attended by King's eldest son, Martin Luther King III and his family as well as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and hundreds of demonstrators.
U.S. Marine riflemen also took part in the celebration of King's life, dressed in full ceremonial uniforms
King, a Christian minister, is remembered as the most pivotal individual in the civil rights movement that sought an end to segregation in the U.S. and other forms of discrimination.
Prior to his 1968 assassination, King was a strong advocate for peaceful non-violent protest and played a leading role in several major demonstrations that included the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott that ended segregation in the Alabama city's public transit system.
His 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech, a public appeal for racial equality, is still remembered as one of the great public addresses in American history alongside Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" and Franklin Roosevelt's "Infamy Speech."
He was shot dead on April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony outside his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee.